How Market Research Can Make You Money
Like a building, a business needs a foundation. Now there are multiple things that go into this such as funds, workers, and customers to name a few. Our focus here is customers and not just any customers, but the most loyal, or fans for simplicity. Why? Because fans get you more business period.
The Pillars of Research
There are multiple aspects when performing market research, and each part is important and has a point. While some pieces may provide more value directly, they all rely on each other to know your brand and competitors.
1. Competitive Research
This is a no brainer. Conducting competitive research is essential to understanding your market. When starting a business, or even established businesses, you have a list of competitors in your head. This list often gets mistaken as all one’s competitors. Unless you conduct competitive research on a regular basis. There’s always someone you don’t know about, and it’s better you find them before you see them.
If you don’t know what I mean by that, well, let’s just say you don’t want to be surprised they exist.
There are some great ways to spy on your competitors. Using tools such as SpyFu and Adespresso can help you see how they are advertising and exactly what their ads look like. I personally prefer to take things a step further. Sure we know what they offer and what not, but how are they offering their products or services, and is it working?
Action: Subscribe to any lead magnets or free offers your competitors have and study their follow-up sequences. If it works should you do what they are doing or is there a way to make it better?
You should be organizing all this information somewhere, I personally prefer Google Drive, and keeping different competitor folders separate. Keep finding more competitors and keep adding to your research.
2. Customer Research
Customer research generally holds a higher level of value than competitive research, but it’s not always the case. Customer research is very valuable but it has to be done right to get what you want. With the proper research done you can create customer avatars, know their challenges, pain points, and values.
In order to perform successful customer research one much figure out where their potential customers exist. With the rise of social media, it’s more or less figuring out which channel. Maybe they’re in LinkedIn groups, or maybe they’re in Facebook groups. It used to come down to finding different communities. Reddit is also a powerful place where potential customers could be conversing and consuming information.
Once you know where these people exist you need to nurture a relationship with them. Just exist and contribute. Once you have broken in a little I would suggest offering up a survey and say it’s just for research purposes. People think they are contributing by doing this.
It’s best to create surveys that are mostly multiple choice and put the most important questions towards the top. People tend to care less and less as a survey goes on ;).
Devising a Plan
Once you have done both competitive and customer research it’s imperative you start to come up with a plan. This involves how you’re going to target your actual market, and what kind of content you think would be appropriate to give them.
This is where you figure out how this is going to make you money. See, most businesses or people think if I just create a business I’ll get some clients and make money. Well, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. All the people that have been in business for over a month are nodding their heads.
By knowing who exactly you want to target, you can now go talk to them directly. You can advertise to them specifically. You can make connections intimately.
This is how marketing is properly done regardless of the business. It all starts with knowing as much you can about your industry and the market you want to serve. Without it, you might as well file for bankruptcy before you begin.
Research = Money
I know you went into this article hoping for a quick one-off of how research is going to make you money instantly. If you work full time doing just research this alone is going to take a few weeks when it comes to nurturing the potential customers and attaining survey responses.
I like to give some actionable items in these types of posts to help you actually execute a successful strategy. Heck, if I don’t I don’t know what the point of this would be.
- Start at the top and look at your competitors. Even if you’re an established business you’re going to learn more than what you did, I promise. If you don’t you didn’t do it right.
- Next, make sure you find where customers may be existing and start to build a relationship.
- Feed potential customers a survey.
- Talk to some potential customers with your voice (use Google Hangouts or your old rotary phone).
- Build up a strategy of offers and content for these potential customers.
It’s that simple. That’s 5 actionable steps for you to have a more profitable business. Many business owners will say they do not have time to do all this. Well, outsource it (hey, pick me!) Or… Realign your priorities in your business to doing things that will make you money.
I understand this can be overwhelming if your background isn’t marketing. Just take it slow but work hard, and before you know it you’ll have a plan of action to reach people who actually want to give you money for your products and services!